Together “But I don’t know where I’m going,” I say, patting the imaginary blindfold over my eyes. I swear I can almost feel the fabric there, covering my sight.

“Oh, but yes you do!” he says, strands of his hair flapping in the wind. “You see the ocean before you, you hear the call of the gulls overhead, and you feel the sand and occasional rocks beneath your feet. That is enough, is it not?”

I blink a few times, then look around. Inhale the ocean’s breath. Allow the white foam that coats the waves to soothe my soul. The screech of a gull to awaken my pulse. I turn to him, my own hair flying back from my face. I try to smile, despite the grit stinging my eyes and the wind sapping my energy. But I realize that I am alive—my limbs coursing with blood and my skin pricking at the chill in the air. He laughs, this wild man beside me. I smile wider.

“Dear heart,” he says, so tenderly I wonder if we’ve known each other our whole lives, “you are safe with me.”

I blink a few more times before unbidden tears begin washing the sand in my vision, reducing the sting. And then I see him. Really see him. The color swirling in his eyes, the invitation in his unswerving gaze. He’s been waiting for me, I realize. Oh, but he hasn’t left my side. I merely have not always seen that my best friend, my greatest guide, has been beside me all this time. Just waiting for me to choose him over my fears.

We’re now at the ocean’s edge. I don’t know what lies within or beyond. But I let him take my frail hand, entwining his fingers with mine so I feel their strength. Their security. In fact, I’ve never felt anything more stable in all my life. I take a breath and exhale a sob, but he holds me up, draws me close with his other arm until our chests meet and we stand there letting the frigid ocean air ripple between us until our hearts drum the same rhythm. I am at peace in the midst of this wild, unpredictable scene of nature.

Finally, he gently pulls away, but never unweaves his fingers from mine. My heart aches and soars at the same time, to be in the presence of such a beauty as his. Together, we look out across the ocean again. To the right, waves toss themselves against a high cliff topped with bright green grass.

“Are you ready?” he asks, his voice low and gentle. I look at him, the corners of my mouth tempted to turn up.

I nod, and together we run towards the cliff.

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